Chairmen of both the conservative party and the center-right Progressive Party have stated that they believe parliamentary elections should be held as soon as possible.
Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the Independence Party, told attendees at a party meeting on Wednesday that he believes elections should be held right after the banking system has been fully repaired. Progressive chairman Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson took much the same tone, but added that he would rather wait for the parliamentary committee to finish its work with regards to what individuals, if any, will be charged for their part in the 2008 banking collapse.
Minister of Social Affairs Árni Páll Árnason spoke plainly about the call for early elections, telling Vísir, “This kind of talk bears witness to some kind of desperation. You won’t completely repair the political system in this country in a few months with one committee. It’s a lot of work and won’t be completed in a snap.”
Movement MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir told reporters that she wasn’t entirely in agreement with Benediktsson or Gunnlaugsson, saying that it wasn’t the opposition’s job to say when early elections should happen, but rather the Icelandic people themselves. At the time of this writing, a Vísir poll shows the majority of Icelanders against early elections.
Members of both the Independence Party and the Progressives were featured prominently in the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) report on the 2008 banking collapse, and a parliamentary committee is currently working out who, if anyone, to charge with what. Despite criticism from the conservatives that the government isn’t doing enough to help the economic situation in Iceland, a new report from the International Monetary Fund shows quite the opposite – that the economy has actually done much better than was expected, and unemployment is predicted to continue dropping.